When the mother-in-law comes to visit…

Posted By on July 10, 2011

One evening back in early May we were eating dinner and occasionally glancing out to the Family Fox, working their way through the delicacies I’d provided for them on the back lawn.

Something wasn’t quite right, though. A head-count suggested… one, two cubs; one, two, three adult foxes? What was going on?

While it hasn’t been unusual to see plenty of different adult foxes wandering through to take advantage of the free buffet outside of the cub season, we certainly didn’t see any adults daring to come near the breeding adults and their cubs this time last year. From the reactions of this year’s adults, and from my memories of last year’s vixen’s appearance, I think the interloper was actually last year’s vixen remembering that there was food here, and coming to nab some for her own cubs from this year (she certainly seemed to be feeding cubs when we saw her coming for food; enlarged nipples etc.). I’d suspected previously that one of this year’s adults might have been one of last year’s cubs, grown up and with his or her own family.

The new (or, perhaps, old) vixen tends to fill up on the more easily portable food (most usually the cheese) and then disappear out through our front garden and behind one of the houses on the other side of the road. She might be living in a garden there, or perhaps on the railway embankment behind the gardens on that side. She was a regular visitor for most of May, didn’t show up much in June (or at least not that I noticed) and then came back again yesterday evening.

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